Remember that the text that we have is made up of notes for preaching (hence the common use of “etc” in the text). Eugene did not function well from a prepared text – he wrote the key ideas and then developed as he spoke and got fired up. The points here are a powerful summary of the approach to the poor that he had throughout his life
We will begin with teaching you what you are, your noble origin, what rights it gives you, and what obligations too it imposes on you, etc.
Man is God’s creature, etc.
Come now and learn from us what you are in the eyes of faith.
Poor of Jesus Christ, afflicted, wretched, suffering, sick, covered with sores, etc., all you whom misery oppresses, my brothers, dear brothers, respected brothers, listen to me.
You are God’s children, the brothers of Jesus Christ, heirs to his eternal kingdom, chosen portion of his inheritance; you are, in the words of St. Peter, a holy nation, you are kings, you are priests, you are in some way gods, You are gods, children of the Most High.
So lift up your spirits, that your defeated souls may breathe, grovel no longer on the ground: You are gods, children of the Most High. (Ps. 81:6).
Notes for the first instruction in the Church of the Madeleine
O.W. XV n. 114